Sentient, Smilodon Maioribus (4e Race)
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 Smilodon Maioribus, "Greater Smilodon"
|“||No other creature blurs the line of intelligence so greatly as the sentient species of Smilodon known as Maioribus, or "Greater"; capable of both speech and reasoning like any mortal race, the handful of its members are fierce and powerful quadrupedal predators with deadly intellect. Their mere existence is an enigma with no definitive answer; for nothing short of a tremendous and arcane act of magic, a force they lack, or the raw will of nature itself, can explain their presence.||”|
|Average Height: 5'4"-5'7"|
|Average Weight: 1,200-1,600 lbs|
|Ability Scores: +2 Strength, +2 Constitution|
|Speed: 7 squares|
|Vision: Low-Light Vision|
|Skill Bonuses: +2 Insight, +2 Nature|
|Apex Predator: You are a Magical Beast for the purposes of effects that relate to creature type or origin. When choosing a class, you may only pick the Apex Predator class.|
|Terrifying Prospect: Your great bestial form strikes instinctual terror into the hearts and minds of those who stand before you. You are trained in Intimidate, and gain an additional +2 bonus to Intimidate.|
|Thick Hide: The dense fur and flesh of a Greater Smilodon shrugs off even the most bitter cold, granting Cold resistance equal to 5 + one-half your level.|
|Honed Tactics: Your experiences with your clan have taught you well, and while flanking an enemy you gain an additional +1 bonus to attack rolls.|
|Reorientation: Whenever you are forcibly moved or fall more than 1 square you cannot be knocked prone by that movement or attack.|
Smilodon Maioribus, or the "Greater Deadly Knife-Tooth", is a species of tremendous saber toothed cat with a startling deviance from all expectation; Smilodon Maioribus is a sapient, sentient variation that expresses a keen intellect like that of humans, elves, dwarves and other such mortal races. At distance, a Greater Smilodon could pass for an exceptionally large saber cat, but any individual closely attuned to nature or the arcane could determine that the beast is much more than it appears; the few members of Maioribus carry themselves with a distinct gait that is read to those scrying it as a fierce pride. Protective of their intelligence, analyzing all that they can while remaining steadily clam, Sentient Smilodon often spend hours and days of their time shadowing other races to learn their behaviors, their mannerisms, their words and their cultures. Their predatory studies borderline genuine interest and killer instinct; to know their possible enemies and all that shapes them is another tool to both outwit them, and outlast them.
The origin of Maioribus is buried beneath myth, where legends tell of great cats found in distant pinewoods and tundra with teeth as long as a dagger's blade, and a mind quicker than that of any mage, but a voice as commanding as any orc's, followed and stalked adventurers and bandits alike, fading off into the dense and cold wilderness when approached. Others yet state that the forces of the Feywild have altered and shaped the Greater Smilodon for purposes benevolent and benign, and in other, more common stories, they claim the intentions are far from kindly, and are malefic, deceitful. Another tale speaks of these beasts originating at the hands of a rogue and powerful wizard, who was ultimately torn apart by his own creations, which killed him in both fury and confusion. As mysterious and lost as their beginnings are, only one thing is certain; the cold wilderness is home to these few, elusive creatures.
Aware of their species' peril at the hands of fearful and occasionally xenophobic races, members of Smilodon Maioribus continue to live in small, highly mobile clans like those of their cousin species. Each tightly knit micro-community of six to twenty members holds universal values and customs, with little to no variation between each clan; ideals of Maioribus may seem unusual and alien to other races, for focuses such as intense self reliance, but dedicated service to the whole species exist. Each individual is expected to be a capable warrior, thinker, hunter, and most of all, predator; other races are observed at a distance, and interaction is solely for the benefit of self progress, and ultimately their kind as a whole. Each member of Maioribus is an adventurer with no qualms of facing unknown or unusual circumstance, even breaking the typical stance of distanced observance to instead interact directly with other adventurers, at times even joining their bands.
Their personality is fairly universal among their members, with some variation present, but is easily described as wildly predatory, calculating and secretive. When they speak, voice growled and dominating, others listen, when they are silent, others tremble. Often restrained and observant, with good reason, their vocalizations are typically made after well processed thought, with keen notes on detail. While their fierce cover and coldly logical exterior seems without limit, there are times when the defenses are relaxed, but only slightly, and is exclusive to those who have earned their trust. Close companions whom have proven time and time again loyal, can earn the trust and protective friendship that these beasts are known for with their own species; a challenge made to a close companion of a Greater Smilodon brings the force of the powerful cat with it.
Play a Greater Smilodon if you want...
- To be a member of a species that has an exclusive and unique Class; the Apex Predator.
- To be a quadrupedal, but sapient feline with a naturally intimidating presence.
- To be a race that forgoes magic and the arcane arts, and instead dominates brutal, animalistic, unarmed combat.
- To be a species without fear of nature and cold, and retain a steely resolve no matter the situation.
 Physical Qualities
As quadrupeds, Smilodon Maioribus are large and strong animals, making up for their lack of magic and weapons with their robust physical qualities. Largely muscular with iconically broad and developed shoulder, neck, chest and foreleg regions, they excel at grappling even the largest of prey, dragging it to the ground where a killing blow can be delivered with precision to the victim's throat. Standing between 5'4"-5'7" feet tall, and up to 11' feet in length, they are living leviathans to most mortal races and strike with the speed and force of an avalanche. While unable to run at high speed for long distances, they excel at bursts of speed and great lunges, allowing them to throw their great weight, often well over a 1,000 lbs, as yet another weapon.
Most of the year, the pelt of a Smilodon expresses itself in a dense tawny, gold, tan and brown fur coat with a variety of spots, stripes, and mixed patterns; all natural forms of camouflage developed specifically to cloak such a massive animal from sight. Yet, during winter time and cold conditions, the earthy tones are shed for more grayed hues and the hair becomes much more coarse, with a thicker undercoat, designed to insulate the large cat in even the most bitter of winters.
Distinct to their species, and one of their many namesakes, is their saber canines; massive fangs protruding from their jowls up to 12' inches in length, designed specifically to deliver incapacitating and killing bites to weak throats and are easily capable of severing the delicate workings of the prey's neck. Whatever specific manner the prey falls to is irrelevant, for the large fangs, and their owners, are remorseless, handling death with innately natural ease.
 Playing a Greater Smilodon
An instinctual predator to the very core, Smilodon Maioribus augment their innate being with a sapient, sentient, highly intelligent mind; able to process and speak fluently any language studied, convey concepts and ideals, and understand its existence in the universe. To outsiders, a Greater Smilodon is calculating and hardly approachable; only the foolish or outlandishly brave would dare. Their silent and observant nature often clashes with those of highly social and vocal natures, for in the wild, such an individual is a liability, but in an adventuring party, a recurring annoyance.
Stoic, but not passive, most of what is said by a member of Smilodon Maioribus is far from negative in nature, in both the sense of seldom voicing complaints, but also to the extent that there is exceptional aversion to those who are less than good company. Individuals of practices that are not of Lawful Good, Good or Neutral will find themselves at odds with any member of Maioribus, as their principals and philosophies will differ significantly. Members of Maioribus would never dare harm those truly innocent or of good standing, but shady dealings and underhanded techniques are not beneath them; their bestial brutality favors intimidation in all senses of the word, even if all intents behind it are for not.
The difficulties that come with being a quadruped in a world primarily designed for bipeds is an issue of note, but seldom of discussion, as more important or pressing matters would be front of mind. Other topics like that of humor do not pass by unnoticed, but instead meet the composed and thoughtful stance and pass without much outward effect; banter between a party will likely not provoke response, unless the topic is of interest to the individual Maioribus in question, but they do relent on occasion and include their own snide or amusing remarks.
Smilodon Maioribus Characteristics: Analytical, subtle, honorable, ferocious, and mighty, each individual represents the pinnacle of predatory ability with an air of confidence and intellect.
Male Names: Ozhr, Rroth, Ihon, Sirar, Ardaran
Female Names: Ansa, Azyne, Selen, Ciri, Ryna
 Smilodon Adventurers
Three sample Smilodon Maioribus adventurers are described below.
- Rroth is a Greater Smilodon who has traveled from the cold North by following an adventuring party returning from a ruin. Unaware for some time of their shadow, Rroth ultimately made his presence known by aiding the band in a dire straight when they were assaulted by a wizard and his accomplices who wished to remove an object of power from their possession, ultimately joining the adventurers after the conflict.
- Catori is a veteran of numerous conflicts and battles, most notably her small war against a guild of hunters who sought to take her and her clans' hides and heads for trophies and sport. Using trusted confidants, she recruited wandering adventurers and their parties to augment her clan's numbers, ultimately using them to slaughter the hunters guild and destroy their hall, before revealing her presence and prominence as the mastermind behind the adventurers' efforts.
- Sordan is a Smilodon that joined a wayward party of young wizards that wished to better understand Cold magic, guiding them into the frozen wastes and serving as a trusted ally in a hostile and lethal environment unknown to them. Using underhanded tricks and unfair combat, he eventually taught the trio how to collaborate with their spells and use the world around them to their advantage.
 Smilodon Maioribus Feats
Many Sentient Smilodon choose to refine their natural abilities for greater potency, regardless of their individual lifestyles, granting particular Feats unique to their race. Many of their specialized Feats rely on enemies being subjected to a particular type of attack, such as a Grab or Surprise based attack, but other Feats focus on using their ferocious exterior and booming voice to strike fear in their victims, Intimidating them into submission. Yet other Feats focus defensively, increasing Armor Class or granting resistance to certain negative effects.
|Ambush Predator||You gain +2 to initiative, and a +2 attack bonus against surprised targets.|
|Innate Finesse||You no longer suffer a -2 AC penalty from Mortal Bite should it miss.|
|Killer Instinct||Deadly instinct increases your attack and damage rolls by +1.|
|Toughened Hide||Grants +1 AC and +1 additional AC against Opportunity Attacks.|
|Crushing Lunge||You gain the Crushing Lunge Encounter power.|
|Endure||All poison, acid, disease and nature type damage taken is reduced while you are Bloodied, in addition to gaining a +2 bonus to saving throws against such effects.|
|Fierce Resolve||Successful saving throws increase your next saving throw by +3.|
|Hooked Claws||+2 to Grab, Climb and Balance checks, and enemies take your Dexterity modifier in damage when you successfully Grab them.|
|Intensity||You gain the Intensity Daily power.|
|Maim||You gain the Maim Encounter power.|
|Shatter Resolve||Your Intimidate skill is increased by +2, and critical Intimidate rolls now terrify the victim into a state of cowering panic.|
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